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Scramble for Africa... based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
For historians, leisure readers and all those who like the old dime novels with the gentleman-in-khaki hero, Thomas Pakenham has provided a modern-day sweeping read about the conquest of Africa. Important also as a social history, this book is an indespensable reference for report writing in every field from European history to colonial literature. Follow the true story of politics, adventure, war, greed and sadness as Africa is explored and stomped over by benign missionaries and destructive settlers. Foreign armies clashed over land, and left shameful legacies of political unrest. Westerners clamored for the gold, diamonds and ivory within the continent. This brilliant study accounts for their pioneering, and their recklessness. Follow Cecil Rhodes, Sir George Colley and the rest in this magnificent history.
An excellent work on one of the most significant periods in world history. Pakenham strikes a fine balance between too much and too little detail to bring the diverse people and places of this work to life. The amount of research done, alone, is a testament to the seriousness the author devoted to this subject. Highly recommended.
This was the most fascinating history book that my wife and I have read in the past couple of years. Each spell-binding chapter is self-contained and concentrates on a particular region of Africa, a military adventure or mis-adventure, or an intricate political manuevering. We never realized how rapid and unplanned (often nearly accidental) was the European entry (and exit) from all regions of Africa. The relevant politics and personalities in Europe and Africa are vividly portrayed. Stanley the egotistic and manipulated explorer, Belgium King Leopold who made Africa and the Congo into his chessboard, Rhodes the scheming dreamer, etc. It is not a dulling scholarly study, but a well-written series of dramatic episodes. Each of the 20-odd chapters (it is a thick book) is just right for an evening's excursion -- it is difficult to stop in a given chapter, but easy to lay the book down upon completing each one. But it is addictive. After enjoying this book, we bought his earlier 'Boer Wars'.